Author's Note: Some time ago, it occurred to me to tell the old story of a mortal who falls in love with a fairy, marries her on the condition that he never do some apparently random thing, and then loses her forever by doing that thing - but to tell it from the perspective of the fairy. (Does anyone know of another writer who's already done this? If so, I would be interested in reading that story.) The fragment below represents the farthest I ever got with this story. I personally think it's some of the best writing I've ever done, but I highly doubt that I'll ever finish it, so I've decided to post it here; if anyone wishes to adopt it and give it an ending, he or she is welcome to do so.


I don't remember the fairy country very well. Probably they wiped my memory when they cast me out, so that I would enter the mortal world as innocent and helpless as a newborn child. It seems an appropriate way for them to behave.

So I have no knowledge of the details of my homeland. The nature of our religion, the scope of our magic, the name of our Queen (did we have a queen? we must have), how our calendar worked, what language we spoke, whether we had rain: all those things are gone. All that remains are a few fragmentary memories – scraps, I think, of the moments when I was most truly a fairy.

I remember sitting on a hill when I was a child, blowing on a dandelion made of light and watching the little, glistening seeds drift on the wind. I remember being a guest in somebody's cave, drinking something that might have been cocoa, but softer, creamier, less heavy on the tongue. Mostly, I remember the feel of that other world: how vibrant it was, how shimmery and golden, as though the whole world was carved from precious stones and metals, yet warm and living.

The one thing that I can't remember at all is why I was banished. I always thought that was curious; I must have been quite a nefarious person to get exiled to the mortal country, yet none of my fugitive memories retain the least trace of nefariousness.

I'm not sure whether that was a kindness or a cruelty. Sometimes, when the burdens of the mortal realm press heavily on my shoulders, I think that, if my judges had to exile me in this world, the least they could have done is to let me know why. In moments of great happiness, though, I often thank those judges that I never have to stop and think, "How can someone who has done what you have done still take delight in the sight of the sun on a river?" (Or the music of Mendelssohn, or the taste of Bavarian cream, or whatever the delight may be.)

In any case, there is no point in dwelling on it. I have what I have, and what I don't have cannot be retrieved.